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Pileated Woodpecker Scat This scat consisted of a small pile of bits of insect exoskeletons! <br />
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Pileated Woodpeckers eat ants, primarily carpenter ants, during the winter. They usually defecate frequently during the day at their foraging sites.<br />
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Similar to humans, birds excrete metabolic waste products (mainly nitrogen), which remains after food is broken down. Humans excrete nitrogen as urea in urine, which is diluted with water. However, birds need to be as light as possible for efficient flight, so they can&#039;t have heavy, water-filled bladders. Instead, they excrete nitrogen as a chemical called uric acid in an undiluted, concentrated form. The white outer coating of bird droppings is the uric acid. The inside of the droppings are the actual feces, or the indigestible parts of a bird&rsquo;s diet. A Pileated Woodpecker&rsquo;s droppings during winter consist of bits of carpenter ant exoskeletons and wood fiber. Birds simultaneously evacuate uric acid and feces from an opening just under the tail called the cloaca. Dryocopus pileatus,Geotagged,Pileated Woodpecker,Pileated Woodpecker Scat,Spring,United States,scat,woodpecker scat Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Pileated Woodpecker Scat

This scat consisted of a small pile of bits of insect exoskeletons!

Pileated Woodpeckers eat ants, primarily carpenter ants, during the winter. They usually defecate frequently during the day at their foraging sites.

Similar to humans, birds excrete metabolic waste products (mainly nitrogen), which remains after food is broken down. Humans excrete nitrogen as urea in urine, which is diluted with water. However, birds need to be as light as possible for efficient flight, so they can't have heavy, water-filled bladders. Instead, they excrete nitrogen as a chemical called uric acid in an undiluted, concentrated form. The white outer coating of bird droppings is the uric acid. The inside of the droppings are the actual feces, or the indigestible parts of a bird’s diet. A Pileated Woodpecker’s droppings during winter consist of bits of carpenter ant exoskeletons and wood fiber. Birds simultaneously evacuate uric acid and feces from an opening just under the tail called the cloaca.

    comments (4)

  1. I had no idea about this, that's some fascinating scat. Can't say that I've ever seen this. Posted 2 years ago
    1. It was my first time finding woodpecker scat, but was a cool find for sure. Just a big pile of tiny insect bits. Posted 2 years ago
      1. I also never knew about birds avoiding fluids in their waste. Makes perfect sense, but didn't know it! Posted 2 years ago, modified 2 years ago
        1. It's so interesting and amazing how so many creatures have adaptations to deal with any potential problems. Posted 2 years ago

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By Christine Young

All rights reserved
Uploaded Apr 7, 2018. Captured Mar 31, 2018 13:04 in 80 Main St, Sharon, CT 06069, USA.
  • Canon EOS 80D
  • f/5.6
  • 1/64s
  • ISO400
  • 100mm